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Law, accountancy and teaching among most challenging professions to break into without a degree

New research on UCAS deadline day

Solicitor, accountant and teacher are believed to be among the most challenging jobs to secure without an undergraduate degree, according to new research.

The survey, which included a sample of 2,005 British adults, found that three-quarters (77%) ranked being a solicitor as “very difficult” to get into if you did not go to university, followed by teaching (69%), accountancy (64%) and investment banking (62%).

The research, published by Association of Accounting Technicians ahead of tonight’s UCAS deadline, found the cost of qualifications was seen as a major barrier to many professional sectors.

Respondents estimated it costs £27,432 to qualify as a solicitor, £21,356 to become an accountant and £21,341 to secure the certificates necessary to work as an investment banker. These average figures refer to the cost of undergraduate degrees, masters degrees and specific qualifications.

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Many respondents also thought being from an ethnic minority background was a significant barrier to entering these professions. Almost a third of people (31%) said being from an ethnic minority background would make becoming an investment banker difficult, compared to 27% for solicitor, 23% for business analyst, 23% for HR manager and 22% for accountant.

Last year a study found that the children of lawyers were 17 times more likely to become lawyers than children whose parents did a different job, with researchers arguing this was part of the reason why working-class people are under-represented in the professions.




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